Championing marriage for the good of society ...especially our children
Marriage Foundation is a national charity, launched in 2012 in response to the epidemic levels of family breakdown. Here, we explain our purpose, vision, what we do and why we need a national champion for marriage.
To be a powerful independent voice restoring confidence in marriage. Using the best and latest research, we:
- advocate the advantages of marriage
- challenge the social injustices of family breakdown
- demonstrate that marriage is both modern and the best arrangement for all couples
- To see the aspiration of a life-long, fulfilling marriage as an attainable goal for all, especially our young people
- To see a society that thrives because stable marriage (or formal commitment) becomes the first choice for all couples
- To halt the current declining marriage rate because marriage is the single most effective key to reducing family breakdown
What do we do?
- Marriage Foundation confronts and challenges the status quo. By undertaking, publishing and broadcasting ground breaking research we heighten public, media and government awareness and understanding of the scale of the national tragedy of family breakdown and its causes.
- Through collaboration and partnering with a wide range of like-minded organisations we advocate effective remedies and signpost people to them.
- We coordinate national projects such as UK Marriage Week.
Why do we need a champion for marriage?
The single most important factor in a child’s healthy development is the stable relationship of the parents. On every measure of successful development, including happiness, children from stable families fare best.
The UK has almost the highest rate of family breakdown in Europe and the cost shows no sign of decreasing. 60% of lone parents are on Housing benefit versus only 10% of intact couples.
Such stability is invariably found within marriage. By the age of 16, 36% of the UK’s children do not live with both their birth parents. But they are three times more likely to do so if their parents are married.
Divorce rates have plummeted over the past 3 decades, but the number of lone parents has doubled in the same period. Why?... Because unmarried parents make up only one in five cohabiting parents but are responsible for one half of all family breakdown.
Family breakdown is a social justice issue, with its appalling pain and distress, it’s at an epidemic level and lies at the root of almost all society’s problems. It particularly affects our children and it’s the primary cause of inequality. It costs the country over £50bn pa.
In 2012, after more than four decades in the Family Courts (fourteen as a High Court Judge), Sir Paul Coleridge set up Marriage Foundation to spearhead a campaign to tackle and reduce family breakdown. He later resigned as a High Court judge to concentrate on the work of the Foundation. Please join with him to turn the tide and bring about change.
Founder of Marriage Foundation, Sir Paul Coleridge tells his story
“In 2012 after forty-three years in the family justice system (fourteen sitting as a judge) watching the inexorable and seemingly unstoppable rise in family breakdown, I began to talk publicly about the scale and depth of the problem.
I was not popular. But I was driven by three motives. Firstly a desire to challenge the entrenched belief that nothing could be done to stop the rot, secondly, a conviction, having watched the fallout for so long in the Family Courts, that our children were the sector of the population most adversely affected by the epidemic; and thirdly, that the remedies had to be applied not only to the amelioration of the problem but its entrenched causes. In short, our children’s life chances were being seriously and permanently damaged and we had to do something to publicise the scale of the problem and suggest solutions.
Fortunately, and wonderfully I discovered that others shared both my concerns and vision. Thus, was Marriage Foundation born and launched in May that year. Most thought it was a hair-brained idea with no future. Now, several years on we have confounded our critics. Time and again our research department has injected reality and hard evidence into this debate with eye catching research which the media have broadcast. We are justifiably proud of our achievements thus far, but we still have a long way to go. The campaign must go on for ‘the good of society, especially our children’. Please join us, be part of our journey as we challenge the social injustices of family breakdown.”